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Full text of "A history of Persia"

424                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP,
order and defending Persian rights, and the energy and
skill with which he conducted his last campaign must be
set against his previous failures. He marched first to
Yezd, which had rebelled, and then to Kerman, and in
both provinces succeeded in reviving public confidence.
In Khorasan, Khusru Mirza opened the campaign by the
siege of Turshiz. The fall of this fortress caused many
of the leading chiefs to submit, but the Ilkhani of Kuchan
refused to come to terms. Amirabad, a Kurdish strong-
hold near Chinaran, was taken, and Abbas Mirza had the
utmost difficulty in stopping the massacre of its inhabi-
tants. Kuchan was next besieged, and the rebel Ilkhani
in the end submitted and was deposed in favour of his
son.
Sarakhs was the next Persian objective. The Khan
of Khiva had advanced to its neighbourhood, but retreated
upon hearing of the success of the Persian arms and so
deserted the Salor Turkoman of Sarakhs. This historical
city, which owed its importance to its position at a ford
of the Tejen on the great road between Nishapur and
Merv, had become a notorious centre of the slave trade,
and it was known that there were three thousand Shia
captives within its walls. Abbas Mirza^ after futile
negotiations, allowed an hour for the unconditional
surrender of the fortress, and when the time had elapsed
assaulted and captured it The Turkoman were massacred,,
the slaves were released, and enormous booty was
collected.
This blow dealt to the Turkoman resounded through-
out Central Asia. The Khan of Khiva was permitted to
ransom five thousand Salor prisoners at ten tomans a head,
but Abbas Mirza stipulated that the Salors should escort,
and be responsible for, the safety of Persian caravans;
that they should agree to have no dealings with slave-
dealers ; and, finally, that they should pay tribute and
furnish a contingent of horsemen when required,
Anglo - Russian ^Antagonism in Central Asia,  The
campaign against Herat in which Persia now engaged
was the ultimate cause of the first Afghan war, and it
may therefore be well, before describing the operations.